87°Partly Cloudy
  • JohnH

    My favorite are the people who abandon their cars – cause walking will be a great idea. This happened in GA a couple years ago – literally intersections were blocked with cars that people just left and came back the next day for. Sigh.

    • Caroline

      Sometimes you run out of gas or get stuck. That nearly happened to me during the 2011 commuteageddon. I wasn’t expecting my normally 20-minute commute to take 8 hours, so I left work with only half a tank of gas (now I know better).

      • JohnH

        Yes, there are circumstances. There are also many people who just leave their cars.

        • BigPuddin

          Did you take a survey or something?

        • Caroline

          I wouldn’t leave my car unless the only other option was to sit there and slowly freeze to death in it, and my car is old and cheap and practically worthless. I doubt many people are leaving their beloved cars to hike down a slippery highway to god knows where with freezing cold wind whipping at them, unless there was no other choice.

          • Poodle

            My thoughts exactly.

  • jdre

    I know we all know it, but it bears repeating: in a LOT of the country, this isn’t even considered snow. What the serious hell.

    • JohnH

      To be fair, 6 inches of snow is a piece of cake compared to an inch of an icy/snow mix. Icy roads are difficult – but people also are ridiculous when driving in it. It’s really not terribly difficult – don’t drive aggressively and use your brakes as little as possible.

      • jdre

        I’ll re-phrase my assertion. In a LOT of the WORLD, this isn’t even considered winter precipitation. What the serious hell.

        I’d also suggest, as food for thought, that using brakes “more,” as in earlier, rather than slamming on them like an idiot unfamiliar with the concept of friction, is important.

        But this area is FUBAR in a light rain, so I suppose 1/4 inch of slush is just beyond people’s abilities here.

        • Ice, not slush.

          • jdre

            I stand corrected, then. That makes this perfectly reasonable, because cars have never traversed patches of ice, you’re completely right.

        • The OP Anon

          1. No snow tires on cars here
          2. I guarantee the city of Buffalo probably has a larger snow removal crew, trucks, and pounds of sand/salt than the major DC metro county/District governments combined. We just don’t spend as much to prepare for this.
          3. Lots of transplants here from other places who have zero experience driving in snow.

          • FridayGirl

            Agree on point #1. We’d do a lot better with snow tires.
            Something that does help anchor the back end of cars so they don’t spin out is putting a couple heavy bags of salt or sand in your truck. Might be a good idea for Monday morning commuters…

          • anonymous

            Ain’t nobody gonna be commuting on Monday if the storm hits as predicted.

          • NH Ave Hiker

            I still have snow tires sitting in my apartment from last winter. I’m thinking about throwing them on tomorrow before the storm (have to drive to Richmond Sunday night)

          • Anon

            Good points, all. I would just add that because of the sheer volume of traffic in and around DC, any little hiccup or wrinkle — be it weather related or something else — causes a huge impact. If everyone begins driving 10 mph slower when the first flakes hit, that causes back ups. And then the accidents and closed roads start, and everything grinds to a halt. It is a quick downward spiral from there.

          • FridayGirl

            anonymous — I’m hoping people aren’t commuting, but I’m sure some people are going to have to get places for one reason or another (for example, people that work shifts at hospitals, federal gov. building security, White House employees, etc.) I just hope that most of these people live close enough to work that they don’t have to drive in/out.

          • Caroline

            Yeah, I think the biggest problem is that the roads are overcrowded to begin with. It doesn’t take much to bring the traffic from its usual crawl to a complete stop.

    • flieswithhoney

      Coming from Chicago, it’s not the snow that was the problem last night, it was the untreated ice. Didn’t see a single plow or salt truck last night whereas in Chicago they treat early and often. And don’t get me started on the drivers tailgating.

      • Nate

        I agree, it was very icy last night. I couldn’t get any traction on NH Ave just after I crossed Georgia because it was slow slick.

      • jdre

        snow/ice whatever. My point is that this area, between drivers being idiots and an utter lack of treating the roads, is a shitshow after ludicrously small amounts of precipitation.

    • Nate

      Drive slowly, leave lots of space between cars, and anticipate braking. It’s that simple (nobody seems to understand that around here)

    • skj84

      It may not be considered a lot of snow, but I’m sure everywhere else the roads are pre-treated. I bet even the most seasoned midwest drivers wouldn’t be able to handle driving on a straight up block of ice.

      • Caroline

        It would be interesting if a former northern resident could weigh in on whether the roads were difficult to drive last night. It sounded like they were, even if you’re more accustomed to wintery weather.

        • sithanas

          Challenging but not awful with snow tires. Wouldn’t have wanted to do much with all-seasons. Lots of people here are idiots and leave their summers on–those people were probably responsible for lots of the mess last night. (I’m from Detroit originally.)

          • textdoc

            “Lots of people here are idiots and leave their summers on” — Snow tires are not customary in D.C., presumably because we don’t usually get snow very often, and when we do, we don’t get very much of it.

  • andy2

    My colleague was on a commuter bus on 66 and the driver panicked and refused to drive. They finally got out and flagged down another bus which picked them up later – 6 hours to get from DC to Mananas – all because a bus driver freaked on the freeway.

    I gave up on driving home (car2go) when Wisconsin became a parking lot and walked home. There were numerous cars stuck on the ice. It was funny to see them this morning on my bike in – and glad that MPD was nice and no one got tickets as of 8am.

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